Posts Tagged ‘1000’
February 25, 2012 by Anthony O 2
February 25, 2012 by Anthony O 2
February 25, 2012 by Anthony O 2
February 25, 2012 by Anthony O 2
February 25, 2012 by Anthony O 2
February 23, 2012 by Anthony O 2
You know those frozen particles that fall from the sky during storms. Yeah, that kind of hail. I’ve been caught out in storms with pea sized to golf ball sized hail, but never have I been exposed to the elements quite like I was yesterday. There was a severe weather advisory yesterday afternoon, one which we failed to recognize at the shop. It wasn’t like we didn’t check the weather, but when we did near closing time it was only showing a few heavy patches of rain. The Weather Channel app on the ol’ iPhone didn’t show severe thunderstorms OR that there was a severe thunderstorm warning with a chance of hail.
So we rode out.
But before we could actually leave we had to go through the fun of getting the 2-fiddy started. I had spent all afternoon pulling her apart, checking wires, leads, switching out thumb controls, and even checking the solenoid. Nothing worked. We couldn’t figure out why she had simply stopped starting Monday. She had gone from firing up quicker than any motorcycle I’ve ridden to barely turning over, to doing nothing at all in the span of two starts. Roll starting worked well enough, but because she went from VROOM VROOM to nothing so quickly we thought it had to be something other than the battery. So, naturally, we didn’t check the battery. Yup, you guessed it, that was the problem, and by the time we got around to testing the battery it was too late to change them out. Well, we could have changed out batteries, but it would have done no good as the batteries out of the box need a trickle charge for about 90 minutes.
That’s when the fun began.
When first I tried roll starting the 2-fiddy, lovingly named Richfield, nothing happened. The rain was already a downpour, the three of us completely soaked, and we saw no point in waiting it out at the shop. So the other two guys who were riding back to town started pushing me. Still nothing after 3 attempts, then we noticed the kill switch. It wasn’t set to run.
One good shove down the drive and Richfield fired up like a champ. The others hopped back on their bikes, DA 10 (a Kawi ZX-10 that had just been cleaned, probably the reason for the storm) leading the way, followed by lil ol’ Richfield, and Bandit bringing up the rear. Cruising down the highway we passed a gas station after about a mile, but we didn’t stop.
Within 10 seconds of Richfield getting by the station the hail hit. It wasn’t those tiny BB sized pellets either, it was pea sized, every-now-and-again it was about half the size of a golf ball. DA 10 pulled off at the old Allen’s Lake entrance, but waved for us to keep going, so Richfield and I kept trucking at our break-neck speed of about 45mph. As we came off Allen’s Lake hill I noticed my feet were literally in standing water… Inside my shoes! That’s how heavy the rain was coming down, within 5 minutes of getting out in the storm, my feet on the pegs nearly the entire time, and there was water standing in my shoes.
I should’ve worn my boots.
Third mistake. (I guess that would really, be the first going in chronological order, though it didn’t really matter until this point).
Legs sore and fingers nearly numb, we neared to the next safe haven, a gas station about 4 miles later than we should’ve stopped, but traffic came to a complete halt. Less than 200 yards from a logical place to wait out the storm, since we passed on the first 2, and we couldn’t get to it. There had been a head-on collision leaving both east and westbound traffic at a standstill. For nearly 2 minutes we had a respite from the hail. We could’ve been THOSE sport bike riders and weaved our way through the line of vehicles to reach the gas station, or we could’ve simply waited in the line of traffic with everyone else, if only for a few more minutes. We didn’t. We turned around, opting to take advantage of one of the greatest aspects of Kentucky road system, the all important cut-across roads.
A quick U-turn and we’re heading west once again just long enough to cut across on a side road that connected to another main highway. And a wonderful thing happened. The hail stopped, the rain nearly ceased, and hope for a pain-free ride the rest of the way to town gripped me–only to be torn away in one swift attack from the heavens.
Hail to the Junk. H.T.T.J. is something I had not experienced before, nor is it something I wish to experience again. It was like playing baseball and getting hit by a pitch, except there’s no cup protecting the jumbley-bits, and instead of it just being a 60+mph ball hitting you, there’s the addition of you traveling over 45mph as well.
Not. A. Pleasant. Experience.
The remainder of the ride was uncomfortable to say the least. DA 10 was back up front, Richfield nestled comfortably in the middle, and Bandit bringing up the rear again. But on top of the downpour, H.T.T.J., and the difficulty in seeing because of the water on my visor, there was one other complication to riding, at least for me. Water channels. It wasn’t anything near as terrible as what I’ve read for 2-fiddies. The channels weren’t pushing Richfield to and fro, dragging me along for the ride, but there was a slight change in her path when we hit one. Nothing bad, just enough to get my attention and make me even more cautious.
This did have a happy ending, at least. We finally decided to stop once in town. The worst of the storm over. The hail had finally stopped, leaving up to 2 inches of evil, white pain on the road, but it had finally stopped.
The lesson learned?
Wear my boots. Perhaps wearing the overpants would be a good idea too as that would help greatly with the H.T.T.J., but that’s not something I’ll have to worry about often.
At least, I hope that’s something I won’t have to worry about often.
December 19, 2011 by Anthony O 2
It was a cold, lonely night for a ride, but it needed to be done. This past weekend I had two Christmas gatherings with friends and it only seemed logical to take Ziggi for the excursion. It wasn’t the best of conditions in which to ride, but I wasn’t going to let pass the opportunity to ride, especially the opportunity to ride an extended period. I suppose if I start at the beginning it makes a little more sense. Saturday was uneventful, to say the least. The ride was comfortable, if not just a little cool, but rather enjoyable. I did take the parkway instead of my regular jaunt up the highway because I was behind schedule, but Ziggi reminded me she was perfectly content zipping along at interstate speeds. The troubles that had plagued me when I first began riding at the end of the summer were not present, nervousness from the speed itself, buffeting from other vehicles, semis in particular, and of course, wind buffeting from nature itself. The ZG1 was more than capable of handling everything thrown at her on the short 35 mile ride, and even when I was playing she didn’t flinch. I did notice, as I have the last couple rides on the parkway, the front end still felt different, but the only explanation seems to be wind and buffeting causes it to dip rather than anything mechanical. That recently noticed behavior was something we checked out at the shop before I took Ziggi out for the weekend. The only thing to mention from Saturday was that I actually met one other person who was crazy enough to be out riding in the mid 30 degree temperatures; perhaps he was crazier as he was riding a Sportster 1200. I applaud that man as I have no desire to be on a cruiser or any other bike that doesn’t provide a decent amount of protection from the elements. The Concours has protection in spades. And now I’m rambling. At first I let him pass me by, content to cruise along just over the speed limit, but just past the halfway point to my destination I got bored and decided to reel him back in. By the time I was exiting the parkway I had backed off the throttle enough to let him pull away two more times before closing the gap again. Content in my small amount of play I continued to my destination, allowing my new found plaything to continue on his way.
The Christmas get together was entertaining, but no one needs to know about. You know the drill: meeting with friends, chatting, joking, eating, and drinking. All in all it was good times to be had by everyone involved. The real fun started Sunday morning when I set out on the longer leg of journey. I was leaving a couple hours earlier than I had initially planned so the temperature was under freezing.
But the road called.
And I answered.
The cold of morning waited with arms spread wide and Ziggi and I raced into that embrace.
Instead of taking the parkway and limiting myself to another boring ride I decided it was time to conquer the road that had given me troubles the last time I made this journey and went on up highway 62. This time, though, I had experience on my side. Not necessarily riding experience, though I had gained that. No. This time I knew what troubles lie in wait on the twisties beyond Bardstown. And this time I had Ziggi to help keep me in check. I honestly don’t know if it is the bike that handles better or if it is just that I don’t try to push her as hard as I did the Katana in the twisties, but the Concours seems to take to the fun roads with more confidence. At first I was of the mind that Ziggi really did handle better, but after this weekend romp I’m starting to realize I just ride differently on her than any other bike. In fact, I think I ride more aggressively 0n the Shadow than I do on Ziggi, but that’s not necessarily important, is it? I now regret not stopping along the way and taking pictures. It’s not that the view along the highway is impressive, but there’s just something about that stretch of highway between Bardstown and Lawrenceburg that I love. There were dips and turns, the sometimes frightening drops off the side of the road. Those aren’t the kinds of drops you would find on a seaside or mountain road, mind you. These are the kinds of drops that dive twenty or thirty feet down then send whatever lost its way off the road into a fence roll. That is what I call frightening. But the road held no surprises this day. I waved at the dilapidated school as I went by and made a conscious effort not to start playing as I hit the heart of the twisties. Then I spotted the turn, barely noticed the cuts and marks in the road that caused me trouble the last time, and continued on my merry way.
The only thing of note that happened was that I had forgotten why I usually take the parkway after reaching Lawrenceburg. After ten years of making my way to Lexington one would think I would know the way, but since I had always been caged in the past I had no reason to stray from the well-worn path. After Lawrenceburg the highway seems to have less than stellar signage. I missed my turn or made a wrong turn on two occasions since the markers for 62 just vanished at certain points. The first of which sent me on a fifteen mile loop back to the gas station I had just stopped at, and the second had me trucking along toward Georgetown rather than my destination. I can’t really complain, though. I was riding and that made all the difference in the world. In fact, I had to make myself turn back and take the correct path to save some time as I was already running later than the time I had said I would arrive at my friends’ house before we went to Friendsmas. When finally in Lexington I took advantage of the decidedly lower gas prices, shook my head at the mileage I was getting, and continued on my way. That was all there was to it. The real fun started after Friendsmas had concluded.
Initially I had planned on riding home, but after seeing the forecasted temperatures I made plans to stay the night. In the end I decided to head home anyways as after 24 hours apart I was already missing my dog and our bed. Goodbyes were said, hugs given, and I was off. Ziggi wasn’t so certain though. The ol’ girl didn’t want to leave. She died twice while I was packing my bags, each time when I flipped off the choke. You see, she has more sense than me. She knew how cold it was going to be out on the parkway at night and apparently wanted to stay put in the driveway and just make the trip home in the morning. Perhaps it would have been best if I had listened to her…
I was cold before I even reached the parkway.
The ride home continued that near miserable theme. We made it 30 miles at a time, at most, before I had was forced to find shelter in a gas station to get feeling back in my fingers. Ziggi seemed to be taking her frustration out on me for making her travel in such conditions as she wasn’t giving the kind of wind protection I had come to expect. I felt it! It was in my fingertips, eating away at every bit of warmth, gnawing its way down to the bone. From there the cold made its way up my arms and into my core. It was always at that point I had to seek refuge indoors in the hopes the restroom had hand dryers. I wasn’t always that lucky. The first stop was one such place. There were several minutes spent thawing out, but then we were back on the road, ear buds painfully held in place by my helmet, the music quietly pumping through my phone the only company I had. The second stop was a resounding success. The hand dryer worked wonders. Back on the road I was finally able to notice how beautiful and clear the night sky was now that I wasn’t muttering to myself about how I should’ve taken the cage on this trip. It was the some of the most pleasant riding I had done all weekend. At least, until I got 8 miles from my next stop, then it felt the bottom fell out of the temperature gauges. I know, I know, it wasn’t that cold. Some of you folks live in places where it is TRULY cold. But here, when it gets into the 30s it’s cold, if it gets colder it’s freezing, quite literally. And what’s worse is my winter riding gloves haven’t come in yet so I’m wearing winter bicycling gloves, and I only had on my thermal shirt, no other thermals to combat the cold at interstate speeds. So for me it was most definitely cold. Anyways, riding through that bottom took the last bit of joy out riding this weekend. I never seemed to recover. At my next stop I stayed in the store to warm up, got my gloves nice and toasty again, grabbed a drink–and still I shivered when I stepped outside.
All I wanted was to be home.
Back on very familiar territory I took the highway home instead of braving the potholes of the parkway, sacrificing speed for ease of mind. I almost wished I had taken the speedy route as I never could convince Ziggi to warm me up. Typically she keeps me comfortable on the highway and through town, but not this night. I had truly found myself in the doghouse. We finally found our way home. And at points I wasn’t that cold, but that never lasted long. I don’t remember much as that part of the ride is just a haze. All I know is that once home I was still unable to get warm. Even after sitting in front of a heater for more than hour I still shivered when I moved from the warm embrace of that wonderful machine.
There was definitely a lesson to be learned from this. I now know, no matter what the conditions, it’s necessary to be properly geared. I suppose this means no more rides until I have winter gear, at least, no more long rides. There’s no way I’m passing up the opportunity to hop on a bike and make quick rides of 100 miles or less.
December 6, 2011 by Anthony O 2
Recently I ventured out on yet another ride, and once again I found myself enjoying the back roads of Central Kentucky here in Grayson County. But despite my enjoyment of the ride, the day held a surprise for which I was not prepared. It was possibly the last of the warm days here in Kentucky, and, as a result, I found myself unable to fight the call of the open road. I knew there would not be many more days that would be comfortable riding the Shadow so I took the little cruiser out for what would likely be the last ride of the all but gone riding season. The previous weekend I had been fortunate enough to enjoy a ride to visit a friend who was in on leave from the Navy in surprisingly warm weather for November, so when the following weekend again brought temperatures in the low 60s I didn’t hesitate hop on the Shadow and take off gallivanting across the countryside. After a quick pit stop to fill up the gas tank I was cruising on my favorite back roads soaking up the waning warmth. The Honda had started cutting out, sometimes even dying when twisting the throttle from a standstill so my destination was once again the motorcycle shop. I had started to mess around with her at the house, but I quickly discovered I was unable to get to the battery to check the wire connections with the tools I had at the house. For some odd reason Honda decided to place the bolts in such a way they weren’t easy access with the included tool pouch, which consisted of one Phillips screwdriver. The shop, I knew, had the right size screwdriver so I my intention was to end up there early in the afternoon then come home to get my ZG1 for a little more spirited play mid-afternoon.
The Shadow, it seems, had other plans.
After gomming around at the shop I finally set to the task at hand, which resulted in a discovery: There was nothing wrong with the cables or connections. Since she had been running great for the last couple weeks after I started using Startron I just chalked the past problems up something in the carbs.
Boy was I ever wrong.
The shop closed, everyone was gone except my buddy, the Shadow was warmed up, but when I began to pull away she died. After nearly 30 minutes of messing with her and trying to jump-start her we decided there was nothing to be done and I was forced to be a caged animal once again, at least until I got home. My friend gave me a ride home and I was forced to break the bad news: The Shadow was dead.
Poppa took it all in stride, his only question was “How did you get back?” There was no fussing, no threats about covering whatever had happened, just a calm nod a question about what had happened. It really was odd, as I explained to him. She wouldn’t even begin to fire. The starter fired like crazy when we tried to jump her, but there was just nothing there. At this point I would expect others to be upset, but she was in good hands at the shop and I had it on good authority the culprit was likely just that the battery was “that dead”.
I was skeptical. But who am I to question those who have been working on motorcycles for years.
When the weekend was over, and between my Monday classes, I made the caged trek, all 47 miles from campus to work on the bike. It’s not like I could do much. After all I have no clue when it comes to mechanics, but I figured if it was something as simple as the battery then I could at least pull the old one off and replace it. What I didn’t know is they were way ahead of me at the shop. While I had been in my morning class they had already pulled the old battery and found the problem was simply the battery was “that dead”. A quick charge of a new battery and tossing it on the bike resulted in her firing up immediately, and I might add it sounded like she was running better. And it wasn’t just my ears longing to hear her run as the guys at the shop made a similar comment.
Nothing exciting to report, I know, but it was a bit worrisome over the weekend. I’ve broken a fair share of other people’s toys and I was definitely not looking forward to having been responsible for yet another vehicular catastrophe. Thankfully, this nothing a brand-spanking-new Yuasa battery couldn’t fix. Now all I’ve gotta do is wait until the middle of the week to pick her up and bring her back home.
Of course, I could have picked her up today, but riding in a cold rain with the temperature already in the 40s isn’t my idea of a good time, especially considering I didn’t have any riding or rain gear with me. And to top it all off I would’ve needed to get a ride back out to the shop to get back in the cage so I could return to my night class. Now all that’s left to do is wait another 33 hours for the shop to open so I can thumb a ride down there and take the ol’ girl out for one last little ride before she’s likely hidden away for the winter. At least that’s the plan for now. Who knows what will happen in a few weeks after I’ve grown accustomed to the near freezing or colder temperatures and we get another warm spell into the 40s. Maybe then the Shadow will escape from her confines temporarily for another “last ride” of the season.